Eastern Ky. Drug Epidemic Has Reshaped Communities

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HARLAN, Ky. (AP) -- Kateena Haynes has seen how prescription drug abuse has reshaped Eastern Kentucky.

The director of the Harlan County Boys and Girls Club says two winters ago, the parents of 13 children in her after-school club died of drug overdoses in one six-week stretch. In eleven of those cases, the children saw a parent die.

And the drug abuse hurts the communities in many other ways as well.

In 2010, inpatient and emergency room charges related to drug overdoses totaled $78 million, much of it paid by taxpayers.

This fiscal year, the state budgeted $35.5 million for substance-abuse treatment.

Officials say drug abuse is behind many domestic violence and child abuse cases. And it plays a role in why most people end up behind bars.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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